Teetan seems to have one Victory In Hand at Happy Valley
– Racing returns to Happy Valley today with a nine-race programme featuring the Class 4 1200m Hong Kong Challenge Cup (Race 6) as the headline act.
Typical of Hong Kong races, there’s a number of serious contenders in the feature race, but Victory In Hand for trainer Francis Lui and jockey Karis Teetan looks hardest to beat after his dominant last-start win.
Victory In Hand was backed off the map at his fifth time of asking at this track and distance 35 days ago, jumping at $3.80 after hovering around the $10 mark. This O’Reilly gelding led all the way to score by 2.25 lengths but draws barrier 9 this week and probably won’t map as easy.
Caspar Fownes’ entrant Super
Lucky, from barrier 1, might just get the pace he so desires with plenty that can push forward. The six-year-old races third-up and hasn’t had much luck at his two runs, racing wide throughout off a fast tempo first-up before getting too far back last time but doing well late in the piece.
The best bet comes up in Race 8 with handy looking three-yearold Harmony And Rich in the Class 3 1000m. This Australian import debuted 35 days ago with an eye-catching run into third, two lengths to track and distance specialist Gentle Breeze.
This I Am Invincible gelding led all the way at his two wins in the land down under so it is feasible he can map handier than where he did at his Hong Kong debut. In-form jockey Tony Piccone takes over from suspended Zac Purton and with speed drawn below him, expect to see him mid-field and hopefully proving too strong late.
Harmony And Rich goes up against some in-form horses such as class risers Flying Genius and G Unit, the former in search of a hat-trick of wins after stringing together two nice wins at this track and distance in Class 4.
Barrier 1 looks ideal for sixyear-old Planet Star in the Class 3 1650m in Race 5 and he looks an Eachway play.
Trainer Paul O’Sullivan has tried all sorts of distances with the Denman gelding and he returns to the extended mile (1600m) trip after racing exclusively over 1200m at his last seven starts.
A one-time winner and threetime runner-up at the track and distance, Planet Star has early toe to make full use of the low draw but doubt he’ll be leading with perennial fast beginner
Vigor Fame jumping from barrier 2 (an interesting runner, in fact, racing first-up after a stable change to Jimmy Ting).
Planet Star began fairly last time over 1200m and was heavily restrained thereafter, getting too far back but making up a stack of ground for a better-than-it-looks eighth. Surrealism is hardest to beat and a must include if playing exotics. – iRaceMedia
Luke Middlebrook’s selections:
Race 1: 9-4-3-5
Race 2: 9-10-8-11
Race 3: 5-12-4-9
Race 4: 4-2-9-11
Race 5: 7-3-5-6
Race 6: 4-5-6-1
Race 7: 5-2-7-9
Race 8: 3-6-8-1
Race 9: 2-3-1-9